Just days after we projected the Texas Rangers 2022 Opening Day roster, reports circulated that big-league rosters will be expanded to 28 players through May 1. This is obviously a measure agreed upon by Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association to protect the health and safety of players after dealing with a truncated spring training.
Given the addition of two roster spots, we’re providing a software patch of sorts to Opening Day Projection 1.0 so you’re up to date on where things stand in light of the expanded rosters. Unlike the typical 26-man roster, there are no limitations on how many pitchers can be on the roster.
Catcher (2): Mitch Garver, Jose Trevino
In Projection 1.0, we had Jonah Heim backing up Mitch Garver. The switch is based primarily on how difficult this decision will be for manager Chris Woodward and the rest of Rangers leadership.
In addition, Jose Trevino has one option remaining while Heim has two. Trevino has also become a fan favorite and has a great rapport with the pitching staff. Though Heim provides more versatility at the plate as a switch hitter, Trevino’s intangibles—along with his insatiable desire to take his game to the next level—could prove to be more valuable at the outset of the season.
Even with rosters expanding to 28 players, the Rangers are not seriously entertaining three catchers on the roster as long as Garver breaks camp with a clean bill of health.
READ MORE: Opening Day Screening 1.0: Catchers
Infield (5): Nathaniel Lowe, Marcus Semien, Corey Seager, Andy Ibáñez, Charlie Culberson*
*- minor league contract
The only change from Projection 1.0 is the subtraction of Yonny Hernandez. And here’s why…
READ MORE: Opening Day Screening 1.0: Infield Locked In? Matt Carpenter Fit?
Outfield (6): Willie Calhoun, Brad Miller, Adolis Garcia, Kole Calhoun, Nick Solak, Eli White
Chris Woodward revealed last week that Eli White could be available for Opening Day. White already provides elite speed on the bases, a very good glove in the outfield, along with the ability to play second base in a pinch. If his reworked swing generates more consistency at the plate, White could not only find himself on the Opening Day roster, but in the lineup more often.
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READ MORE: Opening Day Screening 1.0: Easy Decisions in Outfield?
Starting Rotation (5): Jon Gray, Martin Perez, Dane Dunning, Taylor Hearn, Spencer Howard
No changes here. The only rotation spot that still needs deciding is the fifth and final starter. And since Projection 1.0, Spencer Howard threw two perfect innings in his first Cactus League start this year and wowed people like Trevino and Woodward in the process.
“That was the Spencer Howard we traded for,” Woodward said.
So, we’re sticking with Howard as the No. 5 starter.
READ MORE: Opening Day Screening 1.0: Still Need Pitching
Bullpen (10): Joe Barlow (closer), Brett Martin, Spencer Patton, Garrett Richards, John King, Dennis Santana, Josh Sborz, Greg Holland*, Kolby Allard, Nick Snyder
*- minor league contract
With rosters expanding to 28 players, the Rangers are leaning toward a 15-man pitching staff to start the season, especially if everyone is healthy on the position player side.
The same eight pitchers from Projection 1.0 are in this group, along with the additions of Kolby Allard and Nick Snyder. Allard would join Garrett Richards in a multi-inning role, which can prove to be quite valuable if those are needed in back-to-back days.
Nick Snyder joins the group as well. He’s looked sharp this spring and an electric fastball is always intriguing out of the bullpen.